Anyone who has done some SEO for more than sixty days knows that this type of marketing is a long term play. Unless your organization or your client has a good understanding of what it takes to rank in the SERPs, one of the biggest complaints you will get from them is “why is this taking so long? Maybe we should put our marketing dollars elsewhere!” Don’t lie, it doesn’t matter if you work for an agency like myself or if you work in house, you have heard this.
Just because SEO is a long term play, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t engage, because over time, the ROI on SEO efforts is phenomenal. The problem comes when the data driven VP of Marketing or CMO just can’t put revenue numbers to the investment (typically in the first 6-12 months). This is why every smart search marketer should have additional inbound marketing strategies in his or her quiver to help drive revenue now, while working on building rankings.
My post today is going to cover some of the other inbound marketing strategies that can help to drive that revenue early on in an SEO campaign. My hopes are that this post is relevant to anyone managing a web property, whether it’s your own, your company’s, or your client’s and you can take those that make sense and start driving revenue from them. I should probably add a disclaimer that I’m going to be pretty high level with these strategies, but link out to posts with more granular detail. Let’s get started.
Last May, YouTube announced that they surpassed the 3 billion views per day mark, stating that 3 billion views is nearly half the world’s population watching a YouTube video each day. If that’s not reason enough to be marketing on YouTube, you should probably stop reading this post right now.
Producing and publishing video that relates to your audience is a great way to help build your brand, build your authority in your niche, drive traffic, and generate sales of your products or services. The awesome thing about video creation and distribution is that well done videos catch peoples attention and causes them to engage with you. Optimizing a video for the search engines is kind of like optimizing a web page, but there are some things that differ. I like this blog post over at Search Engine Watch by Greg Jarboe that walks you through some pretty solid optimization techniques. And with that, I think we will move on to the next strategy.
Pinterest is the hottest new “social hub” on the internet and provides marketers ample opportunity to get their products and their brand in front of over ten million users. If you aren’t very familiar with Pinterest, three of my co-workers wrote a great three part series on Pinterest marketing that you can check out here.
For marketers, there are two pieces of this strategy. First (the easy one), placement of the “Pin It” button on your blog posts and product pages. I’ve seen products on ecommerce sites glean a few thousands pins by simply just placing the button and on one of those sites, I’ve seen upwards of $5,000 in new revenue generated per month, again, simply by placing the button.
Second (the harder one), building viral pieces that get repined like crazy. About three weeks ago, Colby Almond wrote an amazing post on Moz about Going Viral on Pinterest where he talks about building instructographics to drive traffic vs other pieces like an infographic. I highly suggest you read it and incorporate it into your marketing strategy.
A lot of online marketers ignore Craigslist as a marketing tool either because they are so focused on other tactics or strategies and just don’t think of it, or they might be scared because they simply don’t understand the rules they have to play by. Let’s be honest, Craigslist is a spammers playground, therefore, it has gotten much harder to put a strategy in play, but it is still doable, especially if you are offering services like car repair or products like wholesale furniture.
Really high level, putting an executable Craigslist strategy in place that will drive sales includes the following: Identifying your target market, building enticing ads, tracking your results & making adjustments, participating in the forums, and protecting yourself from fraud. This article on Entrepreneur.com gets fairly granular when it comes to a Craigslist marketing strategy, also the guys over at Dream Systems Media have written three posts that provide some do’s and don’ts to marketing on Craigslist.
Guest Blogging Strategy
Guest blogging is a fantastic way to generate high quality backlinks to your website which we all know helps with search engine rankings. The thing that most SEOs tend to overlook is the fact that some of these opportunities can also drive very targeted traffic to your site which can result in sales or leads. In my opinion, if I’m building links through guest blogging, I might as well kill two birds with one stone and get some traffic and potential sales as well.
To make this happen, you’ll want to try and find out if the blog you seek placement on is getting any traffic. To do this, I like to use Google’s AdPlanner. Although the data you get from the Ad Planner is an estimate, you can get a feel for potential traffic volume and demographics of the traffic visiting the site.
As for a detailed strategy behind your guest blogging efforts, Kristi Hines killed it in her blog post titled The Ultimate Guide To Guest Blogging.
If you sell a product, service, or collect leads on your website and don’t have an affiliate program, to put it nicely, you are insane! Chances are, there is at least one website out there that gets decent visibility that would love to send new business to you for a commission.
Setting up an affiliate program is actually quite simple if you use a platform like HasOffers. I always like to set up my own affiliate program first and recruit some affiliates, then reach out to larger networks and tap into their affiliates while continuing to maintain the in-house program. If you want some in-depth affiliate marketing education, you can follow Sugarrae’s blog and also sign up for her newsletter, she is a very smart marketer, so take advantage of her knowledge.
To wrap up this post, I’d just like to conclude that sitting around and waiting for your rankings to come around costs you, your company, or your clients money. Finding other ways to add value while busting your hiney performing organic search engine optimization is what will make you a standout search engine marketer.
If you have any other suggestions on inbound marketing strategies to help drive revenue, please share in the comments below.
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